The CGI effects might have been cutting edge, but that doesn't mean all of the technology was as advanced as it is today.
If you were a movie-watching child of the '90s (or, shall we say, an adolescent girl with a pulse) you knew Devon Sawa as a teen idol golden boy of the decade.
But after a little more than a dozen years as an actor — during which time he graduated from kiddie fare ( During his self-imposed exile from the spotlight — and the party culture and poor career choices that he admits marked his mid-aughts — Sawa spent time in Southeast Asia. He restored a heritage building in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Movieline met with Sawa to discuss (OK, obsess over) his beloved '90s films and the disparate fan followings they inspired, the unexpected similarities between directors Steven Spielberg and Dr.
Dre, how he spent his four years away from acting, and why it’s always OK to give your phone number to the Coen brothers. You aren’t playing the hero here, but rather a more vulnerable character, which I thought was a more interesting choice.
" And was like, "Sure, this could work." It was supposed to be for two episodes, but I got on there and it’s still going. Then I started doing some movies that I wasn’t so proud of.
It must be curious to have the experience of being famous as a child actor, and getting all the way to age 25 then stepping away and coming back. I started doing Nerf commercials — I was the national Nerf spokeskid, which was my first kind of big thing. They were kind of straight-to-DVD horror movies and whatnot. They threw a little money at you, and you want to work, and you think they’re going to do better — it sounds good on paper — and then it comes out and somewhere down the line, something didn’t work out.
And when I came back after four or five years, it was kind of like starting fresh again. Because I swear I saw you there once, which is when I became aware that you were a fan of the theater and a huge movie nerd. I go to the Aero theater more, but I love them both. I love going to see the old films on the big screen.
People hadn’t seen me in a while, the last things they saw me in were some indie horror movies that I’m not really proud of, and the people were the first to step up and take a shot at me — "OK, let’s see him." I went in and read with them and it went great, and that opened up a whole bunch of new doors. A lot of people were like, "Eh, Devon, we haven’t seen him in a while — what’s he been doing? I just saw a new print of — those films came right before your self-imposed break from Hollywood. That was the point when the fame, or whatever — what club or what party I was going to — became more important.
First of all, when I read the script the lead was already cast with Wes [Chatham] and he couldn’t have done a better job, but this was appealing to me because he’s kind of the guy who doesn’t care anymore; he’s got the slouch, and he drinks, and he’s got a gambling problem.